The Loops: 1st Rocky

I’m posting these tunnels as they descend to Marion NC, but the pictures weren’t taken sequentially.  This was of necessity, since we’ve taken about four trips to figure out ways to get to these often isolated works of man.  This last Sunday was my long anticipated “that’s a wrap” trip.  We got the two tunnels that finished off the quest to photograph the 54 tunnels between Elkhorn City and Marion NC (there were 55 tunnels, but 3rd Rocky was opened up in 1977…there would have been 56, but the Ashford Cut couldn’t support a tunnel – and a gracious thanks to Dr. Brown for that piece of information).  So, here we are at 1st Rocky, 716′ long and this, the southern portal, located at 35.869675, -82.006134.  This tunnel, which is the first on the long glide down to Marion, is so named because it’s rocky.  The platform to the left, (see comment below)